The Big Picture
Used (somewhat inaccurately) to describe the entire area immediately southeast of the river, "Anacostia" comes from the anglicized name of a Nacochtank Native Americans settlement that was an active trading center in both pre- and Colonial times. The core of today's Historic District (designation: 1978) was incorporated in 1854 as "Uniontown"; the first subdivisions were designed to be affordable for workers from the nearby Navy Yard. Anacostia became part of Washington proper when the city and larger District became coterminous in 1878. The need during World War II-era to house a huge influx of government employees accelerated development tremendously.
Located in Ward 8, Anacostia (specifically, the Historic District) is bordered by Good Hope Road to the north, 22nd Street to the east, Erie Street and Morris Road to the south, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue to the west.
McPherson Square: 35-45 minutes by bus or Metro
Nationals Park: 10-20 minutes by bike
National Harbor: 15 minutes by car
Buses: 94, A2, A4, A6, A8, A9, W2, W3, W6, W8, DC Circulator
Bikeshare Stations: 5
Anacostia (Green): 10-20 minutes by foot
A Special Place
While predictions about Anacostia's death and/or rebirth come and go, there are ongoing signs of progress,; Meanwhile, the Historic District retains much of its mid-to-late 19th-century low scale, working class character; nearby, THEARC offers terrific, community-focused performance and other artistic programs.
It's true: Abolitionist Frederick Douglass, often called the "Sage of Anacostia" (also, the "Lion of Anacostia") lived in the area from 1877 until his death in 1895. Today, his "Cedar Hill" estate constitutes the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site.
home sweet homes
The District of Columbia's largest collection of late-19th and early-20th century small-scale frame and brick housing in the Historic District especially; more varied beyond.